As an elopement photographer who does most of my work in Rocky Mountain National Park, I often help my couples search through the thousands of listings on Vrbo.com and AirBnB for the best vacation rentals in Estes Park.
There are a lot of listings for dark log cabins with an aesthetic best described as “rustic lumberjack who likes hunting and plaid”—and while there’s nothing wrong with that, my couples tend to prefer staying somewhere a bit more modern (that’s good for photos). This post has a curated list of all my favorite vacation rentals in Estes Park, mainly in town but also in nearby Allenspark, Drake, and Lyons.
I legally have to tell you that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I get a small kickback if you book a stay from them. But I promise this post is way more about me recommending my favorite listings than it is about me making money. The photos are all from the public listings on vrbo.com, and not my own unless it says so in the caption.
Best vacation rentals in Estes Park that allow events
These vacation rentals in Estes Park are listed as “events allowed” on VRBO. Most do require that you contact the host before booking to ask permission for hosting small events like elopements and parties, and you might need to pay a separate event fee or security deposit on top of the normal rental fees. Read the listing carefully, and contact the host with questions before booking. You should ask permission now, not forgiveness later, or you risk losing your security deposit.
There aren’t many vacation rentals in Estes Park listed as “events allowed” — but why would you want to get married at the house when you can elope in Rocky Mountain National Park for next to nothing? (There’s a $300 permit to have a ceremony in RMNP. I include the permit fee for my couples.)
If you’re looking for a bigger venue for groups larger than 15-20 people, check out my post on the best wedding venues in Estes Park.
Best cabin vacation rentals in Estes Park
These vacation rentals all have the perfect cabin vibes for your mountain vacation in Estes Park. The best cabins with the most privacy are LOCATED. Perfect for a couple who’s eloping in the area, or just on a romantic vacation trip. Some of the cabins are large enough to house a group of friends or family, but make sure you check whether the listing shows “events allowed” or message the host before booking if you’re planning any form of reception or party.
This property is gorgeous. If you can talk the owners into letting you host a small elopement here, I’d love to photograph it!
Best luxury vacation rentals in Estes Park
If you wanna go all out with a luxury vacation rental, these are the very best homes in the Estes Park area! If you’re hosting a destination elopement or splitting your trip with a group of friends, these homes can be similar in price to renting multiple homes, and you’ll have the added benefit of hanging out together without driving between homes.
One of my couples stayed here, and hosted a small dinner reception after their elopement in Rocky Mountain National Park. You can see more photos from it here.
This is one of 30+ cabins at the brand new Mountain Village at Lake Estes. This is my favorite place in Estes Park for groups who want to stay close to each other while still having their own spaces. You can rent multiple cabins, but you can also stay in the Estes Park Resort, right across the parking lot.
Best airbnbs in Estes Park
Airbnb as a platform does not technically allow “events” of any sort, but many hosts are open to letting you host a small dinner reception as long as you message them before booking, and explain exactly what you’re planning. And of course they’re great places to stay for “just” a vacation, too! You can see all my favorite airbnbs in Estes Park here.
Best hotels in Estes Park
If you prefer staying in hotels when traveling, or you’re in town for just a night or two and can’t find a vacation rental home with a short minimum stay, here are my favorite hotels in the Estes Park area.
- The Stanley Hotel – yes, the one made famous by The Shining
- Della Terra Mountain Chateau – by far one of the nicest places to stay in the area
- The Estes Park Resort – the EP resort has both hotel rooms/suites and large cabins, so it’s a great place for bigger groups who wanna stay together. They also have options for hosting small receptions in their private dining room!
- The Historic Crags Lodge
- Taharaa Mountain Lodge (also a great place to host small weddings!)
- The Ridgeline Hotel
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and intimate weddings, and has photographed over 200 elopements across the Rocky Mountains since 2017.